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“I Have Earth-Shaking News”

Benson C Saili
THIS EARTH, MY BROTHER 
   

She was the world’s most recognisable face since Muhammad Ali and Michael Jackson and was tipped to be the symbolic heir to Mother Theresa on account of her scintillating philanthropic passion. About 20 years ago, Diana Princess of Wales met her fate in a road mishap in a Paris underpass.

Was it really an accident or a tactical elimination? In a new series titled Lady Die, BENSON C SAILI with typical meticulous research peers behind the veil to expose a sophisticated plot woven together by British and French intelligence and aided and abetted by Mossad and the CIA.   

Dear General Atiku,
 
It is said the good die young. Jesus, according to the dud, mainstream version, was nailed to the stake at 33. Alexander the Great too shuffled off his mortal coil at age 33. Thomas Sankara, Africa’s greatest son as you may be aware General, was cruelly cut down by the Devil-Incarnate Blaise He-Will-Go-To-Blazes Compaore two months before he turned 37. 

Ernesto Che Guevara, forever the gold standard of revolutionary fortitude and zealotry, was killed in cold blood at the behest of the CIA barely four months after he attained his 39th birthday.  Jack Kennedy, America’s finest president ever, was dispatched in a hail of gunfire when he was only 48 years old, still a spring chicken really.  My own personal hero, Christopher Hani, was just on the cusp of 51 when he met his fate at the hands of that diabolical Pole whose name I will not deign to mention.

The subject at issue, Princess Diana Spencer, was sacrificed at age 36. The emphasis is deliberate General. Of course you may wonder, General, at my employment of the term “sacrifice”. Granted, it is a bold and audacious assertion. Am I laying it on a little too thick General? Am I recklessly stretching the truth? Is it all mumble jumbo, nothing more than unanchored speculation? Is it a classic case of peddling the sensational and the superficial?

Well, General, I elect not to go into the polemics of my standpoint, particularly at this early stage of the narrative when I’m just getting on my marks, when I’m just about to shoot off from the blocks.  Rather, I leave it to you, and indeed to the wider readership, to draw your own, considered conclusions on the basis of the perspective I am about to set down. Just as beauty, General,  is in the eyes of the beholder, whether a view that has been posited  makes sense or belongs to the refuse bin is all up to the discerning, objective, and level-headed observer.   

You will agree with me, General, that the death of any young person, particularly in chillingly tragic circumstances, is an apocalypse. The Bible, which I reference purely from a philosophical point of view and not as the inerrant and infallible “Word of God”, says,  “The Lord giveth, the Lord taketh”. It is said the “Good Lord” often or invariably withdraws a soul from this reality when it has fulfilled its purpose early and not necessarily when it has attained the allotted Three-Score-And-Ten. Talk about hogwash!

Princes Diana as you well know General was a marvellous human being, arguably the sweetest soul amongst the ranks of people of her generation who strutted the public stage.  True, she was not a Mother Theresa or a Dalai Lama: like you and I General, she was fraught with a whole host of shortcomings. A martyr she was; a saint she wasn’t. Pulchritudinally, she wasn’t even half as gorgeous as your greatest obsession Marilyn Monroe,  nor was she a fraction the enchantress that is the inimitable Beyonce Knowles Carter. 

Yet there’s no denying the fact that she simply was one of a kind. A legacy is etched into the hearts of others and the stories they share about you.  Princes Diana was truly the Queen of Hearts: she carved her name not on tombstones, like George W Bush and Antony Blair, but on our hearts. Sadly, she was a flower that bloomed just as it wilted, that began its life with an all too early ending. Having burnt so brightly before she went to Glory, her brightness shines for all time anyway.  

Certainly, by dying young, a person stays young in peoples’ memories. This is one of the most memorable moral precepts she enunciated forth: “Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.”  The acts of kindness she wrought were multifarious, multifaceted, and therefore priceless. She had many more such  acts to edify the world with in the fullness of time. She went too soon General.  If there is a god who as some suppose prised her from the world when  she hadn’t even reached the noon of her life, I’m afraid that  god is a Devil finish and klaar.

Everyone, including you General, plays their own song in their pilgrimage in life. They sing their story to the world and leave behind a melody of memories. Diana left such memories galore General. To me, and possibly to you too General, her death was such a loss it remains an enduring bereavement: she was such a ray of sunshine who illuminated and buoyed up the spirits of many a  depressed, dejected, and downtrodden  people from across the length and breadth of the globe. Indeed, she was a beacon of genuine goodness that tragically is “frowned upon by people who reside  on the opposite side of the moral spectrum”.

Yet I must hasten to underscore, General, that this series is not meant to canonise or otherwise deify her, that it is far from her apotheosis. In fact, it is not so much about her as about the intrigues of the Illuminati – the archontic forces who rule the world from behind the drapes. And since it is you General who proposed the series, I have the pleasure  of informing you  that  it is not only dedicated to you: it is also addressed to you!

If you recall General, I did undertake to you during our brief dialogue on social media that in penning the saga and fate of the great Princess, I would sing like a canary. Well, here is my song General …

I remain General,
Ever Your Boon Companion,
Benson C Saili,  
Gaborone.
January 2020

“MY HUSBAND WANTS ME DEAD”

You will  be aware, General, that when the curtain closed on the infuriatingly short life of Princess Diana on August 31, 1997, it was in the context of a car accident. As she drew her last breath, the princess must have mentally sighed, “Well, it was certain to end like this wasn’t it?”

I intuit as such, General, because ten months before she died, Diana had been secretly tipped as to how her demise might unfold. In October 1996, exactly ten months after her divorce from Princes Charles was finalised, she wrote a note to her butler Paul Burrell in which she expressed anxiety that Charles was plotting her death. “This particular phase in my life is the most dangerous,” she despaired in the note.   “My husband is planning an accident in my car – brake failure and serious head injury.”

Even earlier, in 1995, the princess had in a soul-baring note to  her solicitor, Lord Mishcon, expressed the same fears: she forecast that she would  die in a planned road crash in 1996. Lord Mishcon passed the note to Lord Paul Condon,  the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, who sadly but deliberately  sat on it. Charles wanted her dead, the princess  went on in the Paul Burrell note, “in order to make the path clear for him to marry Tiggy.”

Tiggy Legge-Bourke was Charles’ royal nanny, curiously hired only  a month after he and Diana  separated in December 1992. She was employed under the pretext of looking after the young princes William and Harry, then 10 and 8 years respectively,  but Diana was aware it was all a smokescreen.  She would in due course let it be known through the British media that Tiggy, who openly admitted to having had a “schoolgirl crush” on Charles, had in fact fallen pregnant by  him but had aborted the baby.

Of  course Diana’s hypothesis, it turned out,  was dead wrong: it was Camilla Parker-Bowles Charles  was destined to marry after Diana and not Tiggy. In the same note the princess scribbled for her butler, she said she hoped he would guard it jealously and only avail it to the world in the event that her road accident death indeed came to pass. Burrell, however, was not the “rock” she deemed him to be General: when the princess was killed in the Paris car crash, he baulked at fulfilling her wish.  It was not until 2003, six years too late, that he made mention of the note in his book A Royal Duty.  

Although the accident in which she perished – prima facie, that is – did not happen in exactly the same way she envisaged it, it was close enough. In any case, the end result  still was murder. But why was the princess murdered General? What crime did she commit against the forces that hold omnipotent sway in this world?”

DIANA’S BIGGEST SECRET

On March 17, 1997, Princess Diana, then the world’s most famous woman, fulfilled a long-held personal yearning when he met Nelson Mandela, then the most recognisable political face on the globe, at his holiday home in Cape Town.  As the two socio-politico celebrities conferred, Diana poured out her heart to Madiba, recounting to him all the trials and tribulations that had been her daily potion since her divorce from Prince Charles.

Touched by what he had heard from the tear-sodden princess, Madiba recommended the great Zulu shaman, Credo Mutwa, for a form of spiritual therapy. Madiba  himself  had consulted Credo from time to time for spiritual illumination of some  sort. No sooner had the princess returned to London than she called the great Zulu sanusi. In doing so, she took care to make the call from a telephone booth at Marks & Spencers, a major UK department store located in the vicinities of Kensington Palace, her home, with a view to circumventing the obviously MI-6-tapped domestic line.

“I was stunned when I got her call,” Credo told a Western journalist. “But the more I listened, the more I realised she needed help.” Exactly what was it, General,  that Diana called the then 76-year-old Credo about? According to the prolific British author and researcher David Icke, a long-standing close friend of Credo, Diana told Credo that “she had something to reveal that would shake the world and she wanted his advice on how best to do it”.

When Icke asked Credo as to whether the dirt Diana wanted to dish was about the House of Windsor and its unabashed connection to global trafficking, the Zulu colossus laughed and shook his head. “Oh no, it was much worse than that,” he said. “She was about to tell the world something very important.”  In his 1999 book, The Biggest Secret,  Icke was guarded about hitting the nail squarely on the head in respect of Credo’s elucidation on the matter but in the closing chapters of the book, he finally came clean on the biggest secret Diana wanted splashed across the front pages of newspapers around the world and for which she had sought  the legendary Zulu shaman.

This biggest secret, General,  was that the Windsors, the British royal family,  were not human but Reptilians. This is what Icke says in Chapter 19 of The Biggest Secret: “While researching this book, I was introduced to Christine Fitzgerald, a brilliant and gifted healer, who was a close friend and confidant of Diana for nine years … It is clear that Diana knew about the true nature of the royal family’s genetic history and the Reptilian control. Her nicknames for the Windsors were ‘The Lizards’ and ‘The Reptiles’ and she used to say in all seriousness: ‘They’re not human’.”

By his own admission, Credo Mutwa had been initiated into secret knowledge about the Reptilians, who he calls the Chitauli, and their covert control of the entire world since days immemorial. It thus was fitting for Diana to seek to consult an expert in the ways of the Chitauli before she spilt the beans. The fact that she didn’t is evidence in itself that Credo warned her about the danger to her life of exposing the Windsors as such. But the mere intimation of having toyed with the idea of exposing them was blasphemy, General.  It was one of the many straws that broke their backs: five months later, the princess was no more.

CREDO SEES HORROR IN PRINCESS’ DESTINY

Princess Diana, General, was keen to know precious much about the Reptilian race (humans who carry at least 50 percent of the genes of the Reptoid/Lizard  race, originally from the Draco  star system, about 100 to 380 light years from Earth). So in April that very year, she flew back to South Africa to meet Credo in person at his home in the Shamwari Game Reserve near Port Elizabeth.

As the shaman tutored her about the Reptilian agenda for global domination and its vampirism of mankind, the princess besought Credo to “cast the bones” to help her find meaning in her life.  “Throwing the bones” is a way of divination that is informed by the pattern the bones – in Credo’s case ancient bones of the lion, leopard, and elephant handed down from the legendary Zulu warrior king Shaka of Mfecane fame – form once they are randomly cast on the ground. Credo obliged her and did likewise. The result was at once chilling and uplifting.  

"She wanted to know about her future,” Credo, who called Diana “Little Sister”, said to the same Western journalist referred to above.  “What I saw in the bones for her was both wonderful and terrifying.  It scared the stuffing out of me. First, I saw great happiness for her. She would meet and fall in love with a foreigner. I saw she would leave Britain after they married and she would come to live for part of the year in South Africa. But one of the bones that came up was a battle axe that showed a terrible weapon of destruction was poised upon her. I saw she would die a terrible death, before her happiness would be fulfilled.”

But like every other right-thinking person, General, Credo did not make known to her the nether aspects of what he foresaw. “I certainly could not tell her,” he says. “How could I?” You will agree with me, General, that telling her would simply have exacerbated her misery and possibly made her    contemplate suicide as a less grim way out.

The princess was ecstatic that she would at long last find love after years of affairs and flings that led to nowhere and which only served to break her heart to a  point where it could no longer mend. Over the next few months, she kept up a steady exchange of discreetly couriered letters with Credo even as she developed a great interest in spiritualism, picking the brains of clairvoyant upon clairvoyant in London.

CREDO PROPHECY COMES TO PASS

In July, the princess and a rich, handsome Arab playboy crossed paths. For the Arab, it was love from the get-go General. In the princess’ case, the first question that obviously came to mind was, “Is this the man Credo alluded to? Is he my knight in shining armour?” Although she too   was more than platonically drawn to him, she wanted to size him up first for a reasonable length of time before she snuggled up with him.

But in only a matter of weeks, General, she was head over heels about him: there certainly  was love in the air, with the wedding bells set to ring much more sooner than later. The Arab playboy there and then began mending his ways, unceremoniously dumping his celebrity girlfriend of years just by the stroke of a pen. The princess was so impressed with the rapid fulfilment of Credo’s Nostradamus act that she scheduled a personal  introduction of her new beau to him for that September. 

A reservation for a room with a four-poster bed in the  Pretoria Suite of the secluded Shamwari Lodge complex and with the asking price of  £524 per night was made by the  princess for September 14th.  The head chef had even laid up a special African menu for the couple, which included the traditional Kudu Wellington – venison (deer meat) wrapped in pastry.  

But there was more. During their trip  to South Africa, Diana and her man were to engage in discussions concerning the making of a nature conservation movie titled  Mambo, which was about children striving to safeguard an  elephant from a culling.  The movie would star Gene Hackman and Embeth Davitz of Schindler’s List fame, with Credo himself making a cameo appearance too. Diana’s de facto  fiancé, who was a movie producer of some note himself, undertook to bankroll the movie to the tune of £20 million.

A euphoric Credo had even picked an 800-year-old necklace of love beads for a present for the two love birds when they pitched up at his Shamwari compound. Then it all unravelled General. In the early hours of the morning of August 31, 1997, exactly two weeks before the princess and her Arab Romeo were to visit Credo, his wife and high priestess Mama Nobela went into a trance-like state. 

“She started screaming and rolling on the ground saying, ‘Ufile, ufile, umfazi we Kiwa!’ (‘She is dead, the white woman! The Princess has gone!’). Just then, there was a knock on our door and a woman told us that Princess Diana was killed in a car accident.   I was so stunned my knees just went to water. It was one of the most traumatic moments of my life.” It was all over for the princess, General, who unbeknownst to much of the world was a bloodline descendent of Jesus of Nazareth! Exactly what happened General?  How was her death orchestrated? To which god was she sacrificed General?

NEXT WEEK:  THE GRAIL SAGA BEGINS     

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Hell Up in Judea

24th August 2021

A case can be made, General Atiku, that history’s most infamous Roman is Pontius Pilate. It was Pilate who condemned Jesus, the  “Son of God”, to the most cruel, most barbaric,  and most excruciating of deaths – crucifixion –  and cowardly at that as the gospels attest for us.  

Yet the exact circumstances under which the crucifixion took place and what followed thereafter far from jells with what is familiarly known. The fact of the matter was that there was a lot of political wheeling and dealing and boldfaced corruption on the part both of the Jewish authorities and the Roman establishment in the person of Pontius Pilate.  In this piece, we attempt, General, to present a fuller photo of Pilate as the centre of the whole machination.

Pilate’s historicity, General, is not in doubt. In 1961, an Italian archeologist unearthed a limestone block at Caesarea Maritima on the Mediterranean coast of Israel, which as of 6 AD was the Roman seat of government as well as the military headquarters.  The block bore the inscription, “Pontius Pilate, the Prefect of Judea, has dedicated this Temple to the divine Augusti” (that is, then Roman Emperor Tiberius Caesar and his wife Livia).

Pilate also gets varying degrees of mention in the works of Roman senator and historian Cornelius Tacitus (56-117 AD); the Hellenistic Jewish philosopher and chronicler Philo of Alexandria (25 BC to 50 AD); and the legendary Jewish historian Flavius Josephus (37-100 AD).

Although his year of death (37 AD) is documented, his year of birth is a matter of conjecture, General. He came from the Pontii tribe (hence the name Pontius), a tough, warlike people. The Pontii tribe was of the equestrian class, the second-tier in the Roman caste system. Originally, the equestrians were those Romans with ample pocket power to bribe their way to knightly ranks in the Roman army. Pilate was born to Marcus Pontius, who had distinguished himself as a general in Rome’s military campaigns.

Following one of his particularly sterling military exploits, Marcus was awarded with the Pilum (javelin), a Roman decoration of honour for heroic military service.  To commemorate this medal of valour, the family took the name Pilati, rendered Pilate in English and Pilatus in Latin.

The son, Lucius Pontius Pilate, also distinguished himself as a soldier in the German campaigns of Germanicus, a prominent general of the early Roman Empire. Thanks to his scintillating military profile coupled with   strategic connections in the hierarchies of the Roman government, Pilate was able to wend his way into the heart of Claudia, the granddaughter of Caesar Augustus, the founder of the Roman Empire and ruler from 27 BC to 14 AD.

Claudia’s mother was Julia the Elder, who was also the biological mother of the apostles John and James. When Claudia was about 13 years of age, Julia sent her to Rome to be reared in the courts of Emperor Tiberius Caesar, to whom Julia was once married from 11 BC to 6 BC.

Although Tiberius was not the biological father of Claudius, General, he gladly acquiesced to being her foster father in deference to the memory of her late grandfather Caesar Augustus.
Pilate arrived in Rome when Claudia was sixteen years of age. In AD 26, the two tied the knot. Needless to say, it was a marriage based not on love as such but on political opportunism.

ASSIGNMENT JUDEA

The high-placed connection who facilitated Pontius Pilate’s smooth landing into the inner sanctums of Rome’s royalty and put him on a pedestal that saw him take pride of place in the cosmic gallery of rogues was Aelius Sejanus. Like Pilate, Sejanus came from the subordinate equestrian class, who would never be eligible for a seat in the Senate, the legislative council of ancient Rome.

Sejanus, however, had over time become Emperor Tiberius’ most trusted lieutenant and to the point where he was the de facto prime minister.  He had been commander of the Praetorian Guard, the elite Special Forces unit created by Augustus Caesar as a personal security force, which developed under Sejanus’ command into the most significant presence in Rome.

In AD 26, the emperor was not even based in Rome: he had confined himself to the 10.4 km2 island of Capri, about 264 km from Rome, and left control of Rome and the government of the Roman Empire to Sejanus. It was Sejanus who recommended the appointment of Pilate as prefect, or governor/procurator of Judea. The appointment was pronounced right on the occasion of Pilate’s nuptials with Claudius.

Philo records that when the bridal party emerged from the temple where the marriage ceremony was celebrated and Pilate started to follow the bride into the imperial litter, Tiberius, who was one of the twelve witnesses required to attend the ceremony, held him back and handed him a document. It was the wedding present – the governorship of far-flung Judea – with orders to proceed at once to Caesarea Maritima to take over the office made vacant by the recall of Valerius Gratus.

Pilate was notified by Sejanus that a ship was in fact waiting upon him to transport him to Palestine right away. The only disadvantageous aspect about the assignment was that Pilate was to leave the shores of Rome alone, without the pleasure of spending a first night in the arms of his newly wedded wife: by imperial decree, the wives of governors were not allowed to accompany them in their jurisdictions. Pilate, however, was a royal by marriage and so this prohibition was waived. By special permission granted by His Imperial Majesty Tiberius Caesar, Claudia soon joined her husband in Judea. The wily Pilate had calculated well when he married into royalty.

A SADISTIC ADMINISTRATOR

The Judean perch was not prestigious though, General. The prefects of Judea were not of high social status. At least one – Felix, referenced by Luke in the Acts of the Apostles – was an ex-slave, which says a great deal on the low regard in which the province was held by Rome.

Pilate was only secondarily sent to Judea on account of having married into royalty: his posting to the volatile province stemmed, primarily, from his being of a inferior social pedigree. Be that as it may, Pilate relished the posting in that it gave him the chance to exercise power, absolute power. Absolute power corrupts absolutely and in Pilate was the archetypal example, General.

Pilate’s brief was simple: to collect taxes, maintain law and order, maintain infrastructure, and keep the population subdued. Although he was born lowly, he positively had the power of life and death over his Jewish subjects. Let us, General, listen to Josephus in his allusion to Coponius, Judea’s first Roman governor and who like Pilate was from the same subservient social class: “And now Archelaus’ part of Judea was reduced into a province and Coponius, one of the equestrian order among the Romans, was sent as procurator, having the power of life and death put into his hands by Caesar.”

Pilate, General, was callous to a point of being sadistic. He was scarcely the scrupling judge with the rare soft spot that we encounter in the gospels. Philo charges him with “corruptibility, violence, robberies, ill-treatment of the people, grievances, continuous executions without even the form of a trial, endless and intolerable cruelties”.

He further declares him to be a “savage, inflexible, and arbitrary ruler” who was of a “stubborn and harsh quality” and “could not bring himself to do anything that might cause pleasure to the Jews”. The essentially humane character of the Pilate who presided over the trial of Jesus as portrayed in the gospels may not be wholly fictitious but is highly embellished, General.

Why did Pilate have such a pathological hatred of the Jews, General? Sejanus had more to do with it than the spontaneous leanings of his own nature. According to Philo, Sejanus hated the Jews like the plague and wished “to do away with the nation” – to exterminate it. In AD 19, for instance, he forced the Jews in Rome to burn their religious vestments and expelled them from the city without much ado.

For as long as Sejanus was in power, General, Pilate could do pretty much as he pleased. He didn’t have to worry about compromising reportage reaching the emperor as everything went through the implacably anti-Jewish Sejanus. Sejanus was unrivalled in power: golden statues of the general were being put up in Rome, the Senate had voted his birthday a public holiday, public prayers were offered on behalf of Tiberius and Sejanus, and in AD 31 Sejanus was named as Consul jointly with Tiberius.

The Judea posting also gave Pilate a golden opportunity to make money – lots of it. The governors of the Roman provinces were invariably rapacious, greedy, and incompetent: this we learn not only from Jewish historians of the day but from contemporary Roman writers as well such as Tacitus and Juvenal.

As long as the money skimmed from the provinces was not overly excessive, governors were allowed a free hand. It is said of Emperor Tiberius that, “Once he ordered a governor to reverse a steep rise in taxes saying, ‘I want my sheep shorn, not skinned’!” For those governors, such as Pilate, who had support from the very acmes of Roman power, General, they were practically a law unto themselves.

PILATE’S WINGS ARE CLIPPED

Pontius Pilate, General, was untrained in political office. Furthermore, he was a sycophant to the core who was prepared to go to any length in a bid to curry favour with and prove his loyalty to the powers that be in Rome.    Both these attributes gave rise to a series of blunders that brought him the intense hatred of the Jews.

The first abomination he committed in the eyes of the Jews, General, was to set up a temple dedicated to Emperor Tiberius, which he called the Tiberieum, making him the only known Roman official to have built a temple to a living emperor.  True, Roman emperors were worshipped, but Tiberius was the one exception. According to the Roman scholar and historian Suetonius, Tiberius did not allow the consecration of temples to himself. Pilate’s act therefore, General, was an overkill: it was not appreciated at all.

Throughout his tenure, General, Pilate had a series of run-ins with the Jews, some of which entailed a lot of bloodshed and one of which sparked an insurrection that paved the way to Calvary. Then it all began to unravel, General. On October 18 AD 31, his patron Sejanus was summoned to the office of Emperor Tiberius and an angry denunciation was read out to him. It is not clear, General, what caused Sejanus’ fall from the emperor’s good graces but circumstantial evidence points to the perceived threat to the emperor’s power.

As the ancient historian Cassius Dio puts it, “Sejanus was so great a person by reason both of his excessive haughtiness and of his vast power that to put it briefly, he himself seemed to be the emperor and Tiberius a kind of island potentate, inasmuch as the latter spent his time on the island of Capri.”  Sejanus, hitherto the most powerful man in Rome, General, was thrown into a dungeon.

That same evening, he was summarily condemned to death, extracted from his cell, hung, and had his body given over to a crowd that tore it to pieces in a frenzy of manic excitement. His three children were all executed over the following months and his wife, Tiberius’ own daughter, committed suicide.  The people further celebrated his downfall by pulling his statues over.  Meanwhile, General, Tiberius began pursuing all those who could have been involved in the “plots” of Sejanus.

In Judea, Pilate, a Sejanus appointee, must have been badly shaken, General. Were his friends and family under suspicion? Would he be purged like others? Imperial attitudes to the Jewish race seemed to have changed now with the riddance of Sejanus. Tiberius made sure this was the case by appointing a new governor for Syria (who went by the title Legate and to whom Pilate was obligated to report).

The governor, Lucius Pomponius Flaccus, arrived in Rome in AD 32. Philo records that Tiberius now “charged his procurators in every place to which they were appointed to speak comfortably to the members of our nation in the different cities, assuring them that the penal measures did not extend to all but only to the guilty who were few, and to disturb none of the established customs but even to regard them as a trust committed to their care, the people as naturally peaceable and the institution as an influence promoting orderly conduct.”

So Pilate, General, had lost his supporters at the top, his new boss was on his doorstep, and there had been a change of policy regarding the very people he was in charge of. Surely, he would have to watch his step. The fact of the matter, however, General, was that he hardly did so.  In November 32 AD, for instance, he provoked a mini-uprising by the Zealots led by Judas Iscariot, Theudas Barabbas, and Simon Zelotes. It was this revolt, General, that culminated in those three “crosses” of Calvary that are indelibly etched on the mind of every Christian.

NEXT WEEK: ZEALOT REVOLT AGAINST PILATE

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Hustle & Muscle

24th August 2021

Until as recently as the 1980s a career often meant a job for life within a single company or organisation. Phrases such as ‘climbing the corporate ladder’, ‘the glass ceiling’, ‘wage slave’ & ‘the rat race’ were thrown about, the analogies making clear that a career path was a toxic mix of a war of attrition, indentured drudgery and a Sisyphean treadmill.

In all cases you fought, grafted or plodded on till you reached retirement age, at which point you could expect a small leaving party, the promise of a pension and, oddly, a gift of either a clock or watch. The irony of being rewarded with a timepiece on the very day you could expect to no longer be a workday prisoner was apparently lost on management – the hands of time were destined to follow you to the grave!

Retirement was the goal at the end of the long, corporate journey, time on your hands – verifiable by your gifted time keeping device – to spend time working in the garden, playing with the grandchildren, enjoying a holiday or two and generally killing time till time killed you.

For some, retirement could be literally short-lived. The retirement age, and accompanying pension, was predicated on the old adage of three scores years and ten being the average life expectancy of man. As the twentieth century progressed and healthcare became more sophisticated, that former mean average was extended but that in itself then brought with it the double-edged sword of dementia. The longer people lived, the more widespread dementia became – one more life lottery which some won, some lost and doctors were seemingly unable to predict who would succumb and who would survive.

However, much research has been carried out on the causes of this crippling and cruel disease and the latest findings indicate that one of its root causes may lie in the former workplace – what your job entailed and how stimulating or otherwise it was. It transpires that having an interesting job in your forties could lessen the risk of getting dementia in old age, the mental stimulation possibly staving off the onslaught of the condition by around 18 months.

Academics examined more than 100,000 participants and tracked them for nearly two decades. They spotted a third fewer cases of dementia among people who had engaging jobs which involved demanding tasks and more control — such as government officers, directors, physicians, dentists and solicitors, compared to adults in ‘passive’ roles — such as supermarket cashiers, vehicle drivers and machine operators. And those who found their own work interesting also had lower levels of proteins in their blood that have been linked with dementia.

The study was carried out by researchers from University College London, the University of Helsinki and Johns Hopkins University studying the cognitive stimulation and dementia risk in 107,896 volunteers, who were regularly quizzed about their job.  The volunteers — who had an average age of around 45 — were tracked for between 14 and 40 years.  Jobs were classed as cognitively stimulating if they included demanding tasks and came with high job control. Non-stimulating ‘passive’ occupations included those with low demands and little decision-making power.

4.8 cases of dementia per 10,000 person years occurred among those with interesting careers, equating to 0.8 per cent of the group. In contrast, there were 7.3 cases per 10,000 person years among those with repetitive jobs (1.2 per cent). Among people with jobs that were in the middle of these two categories, there were 6.8 cases per 10,000 person years (1.12 per cent).

The link between how interesting a person’s work was and rates of dementia did not change for different genders or ages.Lead researcher Professor Mika Kivimaki, from UCL, said: ‘Our findings support the hypothesis that mental stimulation in adulthood may postpone the onset of dementia. The levels of dementia at age 80 seen in people who experienced high levels of mental stimulation was observed at age 78.3 in those who had experienced low mental stimulation. This suggests the average delay in disease onset is about one and half years, but there is probably considerable variation in the effect between people.’

The study, published this week in the British Medical Journal, also looked at protein levels in the blood among another group of volunteers. These proteins are thought to stop the brain forming new connections, increasing the risk of dementia. People with interesting jobs had lower levels of three proteins considered to be tell-tale signs of the condition.

Scientists said it provided ‘possible clues’ for the underlying biological mechanisms at play. The researchers noted the study was only observational, meaning it cannot establish cause and that other factors could be at play. However, they insisted it was large and well-designed, so the findings can be applied to different populations.

To me, there is a further implication in that it might be fair to expect that those in professions such as law, medicine and science might reasonably be expected to have a higher IQ than those in blue collar roles. This could indicate that mental capacity also plays a part in dementia onset but that’s a personal conclusion and not one reached by the study.

And for those stuck in dull jobs through force of circumstance, all is not lost since in today’s work culture, the stimulating side-hustle is fast becoming the norm as work becomes not just a means of financial survival but a life-enhancing opportunity , just as in the old adage of ‘Find a job you enjoy and you’ll never work another day in your life’!

Dementia is a global concern but ironically it is most often seen in wealthier countries, where people are likely to live into very old age and is the second biggest killer in the UK behind heart disease, according to the UK Office for National Statistics. So here’s a serious suggestion to save you from an early grave and loss of competencies – work hard, play hard and where possible, combine the two!

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The Lord Ties The Knot

18th August 2021
JUDAS

… as Judas Iscariot takes strong exception

The gospels which were excluded from the official canon, the New Testament, at the Council of Nicaea are known as the Apocrypha. One of these Apocryphal works, General Atiku, is the gospel of Phillip.  In this gospel, the intimate relationship between Jesus and Mary Magdalene is openly discussed thus:

“And the companion of the Saviour is Mary Magdalene. But Christ loved her more than all the disciples and used to kiss her often on the mouth.  The rest of the disciples were offended by it and expressed disapproval. They said unto him, why do you love her more than all of us? The Saviour answered and said to them, why do   I not love you like her? … Great is the mystery of marriage, for without it the world would never have existed. Now, the existence of the world depends on man, and the existence of man on marriage.”

It is clear from the above statement, General, that Jesus held marriage in high regard because he himself was part and parcel of it.  The disciples (that is, most of them) were offended not because he and Mary were an item but because they simply did not approve of her as she was a Gentile and a commoner.

Otherwise, the kissing was not offensive at all: it was a customary expression of mutual affection between the sacred bride and groom. This we gather from the prototypically romantic Old Testament text known as The Song of Solomon, which opens with the words, “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine.”  As the Davidic groom, Jesus was therefore entitled to kiss Mary Magdalene as his bride.

THE FIRST MARRIAGE

In September AD 30, General Atiku, Jesus and Mary Magdalene had their First Marriage ceremony. Jesus had turned 36 in that year, the appropriate marriage age for a Davidic heir, and September was the holiest month in the Jewish calendar.  Having been born irregularly himself (in the wrong month of the year because of his father Joseph’s intransigence), Jesus was determined that he himself follow the law to the letter so that his child would not suffer the same indignities as he did. The First Marriage is captured in LUKE 7:35-50.

The marriage took place at the home of Simon the Pharisee. This, General, was another name for Simon Zelotes, the stepfather of Mary Magdalene. Although Mary Magdalene is not directly named, she is described as a “sinner”. This was another term for Gentiles, as in the eyes of the Jewish God, they were unregenerate and therefore hopeless sinners.  Mary Magdalene, whose mother Helena-Salome was of Syrian origin (Syro-Phoenicia to be specific), was a Gentile.

On the occasion, Mary Magdalene performed three acts on Jesus as set out in LUKE 7:38. She wept; kissed his feet; and anointed him with ointment. This is what a bride was supposed to do to her groom as clearly evinced in The Song of Solomon, a series of love poems concerning a spouse and her husband the King.

Of the three rites, perhaps it is the weeping that require elucidation, General. This was at once symbolic and sentimental.  The First Marriage was simply a ceremony: the moment the ceremony was over, the husband and wife separated, that is, they lived apart until the month of December, when they came together under one roof.  This was in accord with Essene stipulations for dynastic marriages, that is, those of the Davidic Messiah and the priestly Messiah.

Prior to the First Marriage, the bride was known as an Almah, meaning a betrothed Virgin. After the First Marriage ceremony, the Almah was demoted to a Sister. This was because the ensuing three-month separation meant husband and wife would not indulge in sexual activity and so the wife was as good as a sister to her husband. The imagery of Sister also being a wife is seen in 1 CORINTHIANS 9:5, where the apostle Paul refers to his wife as Sister. In ACTS 23:16, Paul’s wife is again referred to as his Sister.

Now, when the Almah became a Sister, General, she was metaphorically called a Widow, because she was being separated  from her newly wedded husband. As such, she was expected to symbolically weep on account of this separation. That explains why Mary Magdalene had to weep at her first wedding. It is a pity, General, that most Christians and their clergy miss the real story so wrongly indoctrinated are they.

In December AD 30, Jesus moved in with Mary Magdalene to consummate the marriage. It was hoped that Mary would fall pregnant so that in March the following year, a Second (and final) Marriage ceremony would be held.  Sadly, conception did not take place. According to Essene dynastic procreational rules, the couple had to separate again. They would reunite in December AD 31 for another try at conception.

The reason they separated was because for a dynastic heir, marriage was purely for procreation and not for recreational sex. But even that year, General, Mary did not fall pregnant, necessitating another year-long separation. What that meant was that Mary would be given one more last chance – in December AD 32, by which time Jesus would have been 38.  If she did not conceive this time around, the marriage would come to an end through a legal divorce and Jesus would be free to seek a new spouse.

THE FINAL MARRIAGE

In December 32, Mary Magdalene, General, finally conceived. When Jesus was crucified therefore in April 33 AD, his wife was three months pregnant. By this time, the Second Marriage ceremony, the final one, had already taken place, this being in March. The Second Marriage is cursorily related in MATTHEW 26:6-13; MARK 14:3-9; and JOHN 12:1-8.The John version reads as follows:

“Jesus, therefore, six days before the Passover, came to Bethany, where was Lazarus, who had died, whom he raised out of the dead; they made, therefore, to him a supper there, and Martha was ministering, and Lazarus was one of those reclining together (at meat) with him; Mary, therefore, having taken a pound of ointment of spikenard, of great price, anointed the feet of Jesus and did wipe with her hair his feet, and the house was filled from the fragrance of the ointment.

Therefore said one of his disciples – Judas Iscariot, of Simon, who was about to deliver him up – ‘Therefore was not this ointment sold for three hundred denaries, and given to the poor?’ and he said this, not because he was caring for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and what things were put in he was carrying. Jesus, therefore, said, ‘Suffer her; for the day of my embalming she has kept it, for the poor you have always with yourselves, and me you have not always.’”

This story (also see JOHN 11:1-44) centres on four people primarily, General. They are Jesus; Lazarus; Mary; and Martha. “Mary” was actually Mary Magdalene.  “Martha” was a titular name for her mother, Helena-Salome.  In the Lazarus story, the two ladies are referred to as “sisters”. This denotes conventual sisters, like the Catholics refer to conventual nuns, and not sisters by blood. Helena-Salome actually headed a nunnery. By the same token, the reference to Lazarus as “brother” has a connotation akin to what Pentecostals refer to as “Brother in Christ”.

Thus, the story revolves around Jesus the groom; his bride Mary Magdalene; his father-in-law Simon Zelotes; and his mother-in-law Helena-Salome. This is a family affair folks, which provides strong hints as to the exact relationship between Jesus and Mary. The raising from the dead of a man called Lazarus, sadly, was not a miracle at all:  it was a ceremonial restoration from excommunication back to the Essene governing council, which comprised of Jesus and his so-called 12 disciples.

The “Lazarus” who was thus restored was actually Simon Zelotes, at the time the most “beloved” by Jesus of the entire apostolic band, who had been demoted under circumstances relating to a Zealot uprising against Pontius Pilate.  More will be said on the subject at a later stage.

The anointing of Jesus by Mary with “spikenard”, General, harps back to ancient married rituals as patently demonstrated in The Song of Solomon. This was the second time Mary had anointed Jesus, first at the First Marriage in September AD 30 AD and now at the Second Marriage in March 32 AD. On both occasions, Mary anointed Jesus whilst he sat at table.

In SONG OF SOLOMON 1:12, the bride says, “While the King sitteth at his table, my spikenard sendeth forth the smell thereof”.  The anointing in the gospels was therefore an allusion to the ancient rite whereby a royal bride prepared her groom’s table. Only as the wife of Jesus and as a priestess in her own right could Mary Magdalene have anointed both the feet and head of Jesus.

The anointing in effect had two purposes: first, to seal the marriage, and second, to officially announce to the Jewish nation that Jesus was the Davidic Messiah (and not his younger brother James, who had been so promoted by John the Baptist).  It all harped back to the tradition in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, where Kings or Pharaohs were anointed for office (in their case with crocodile fat) by their half-sister brides.

The King’s bride actually kept the anointment substance for use for one more time – when the King died. You can now understand, General, why Jesus said “the day of my embalming she has kept it” in reference to his anointing by Mary Magdalene and why the first person to feature at the tomb of Jesus was none other than Mary Magdalene!

Three passages in the Lazarus story     (in JOHN11: 1-44) are particularly telling.  They are Verses 20, 28, and 29. They read as follows: “When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed in the house … After Martha said this, she went back and called her sister Mary privately. ‘The Master is here,’ she told her, ‘and is asking for you.’ When Mary heard this, she got up and hurried out to meet him.”  The reason Mary (Magdalene) first kept her place before proceeding to meet Jesus, General, is not supplied in the Johannine gospel.

However, the Apocryphal document which has come to be known as The Secret Gospel of Mark sheds more light, General.  It explains that on the first occasion, Mary did come out to meet Jesus along with her mother Martha (Helena-Salome) but upon being rebuked by the disciples of Jesus, she repaired back to the house. Why was she lashed out at, General? Because according to the Essene matrimonial code, she was not permitted to come out of her own accord and greet her husband: she was to wait until he had given her express permission to emerge.

There is yet another element in the conduct of Mary Magdalene that has parallels with Solomon’s queen, General. In the back-and-forth romantic dialogue between the couple, the queen is referred to as a “Shulamite” (SONG OF SOLOMON 6:13). The Shulamites were from the Syrian border town of  Solam and we have already seen that Mary’s first foster father, Syro the Jairus, was a Syrian, as was her mother Helena-Salome.

JUDAS DENOUNCES THE MARRIAGE

The marriage of Jesus to Mary Magdalene was vehemently opposed by most of his so-called disciples. The most vociferous on this position, General, was Judas Iscariot. The writer of the John gospel characterises Judas as a “thief” who used to pilfer alms money but that is a smear.  The gospels were written post-eventual and therefore Judas’ name was already in ignominy.

His detractors therefore had a field day at sullying his character. Yet prior to the betrayal, Judas Iscariot, General, was one of the most respected figures among the Essene community. At the time of Jesus’ marriage, Judas was the second-highest ranking Essene after Simon Zelotes (that is the meaning of “Judas of Simon” in the passage quoted above, meaning “Judas the deputy of Simon”): Jesus was third, although politically he was the seniormost.

Judas opposed the marriage on grounds, primarily, that Mary Magdalene was not only a Gentile but a commoner. Judas had the right to pronounce on Jesus’ marriage because it was he who was in charge of the Essene’s order of Dan, to which Mary Magdalene belonged prior to her marriage to Jesus and therefore had the right whether to release her for marriage or retain her in the convent. Judas would rather the spikenard (the most expensive fragrance of the day, the reason it was only used by queens) was sold and the money generated donated to the Essene kitty (“the poor” was another name for Essenes: when Jesus in the Beatitudes said “blessed are the poor”, he was not referring to you and me: he meant the Essenes).

Sadly General, as high-standing as he was, Judas had no right of veto over the marriage of a Davidic heir: only Simon Zelotes had by virtue of his position as the Essene’s Pope. Simon Zelotes was Mary Magdalene’s step-father and there was no way he was going to stand in the way of the marriage of his own daughter. Moreover, Jesus had already begun to fancy himself as Priest-King.

As far as he was concerned therefore, he was at once the Davidic Messiah and the Priestly Messiah – the Melchizedek. Thus even if Simon Zelotes had perchance objected to the marriage, Jesus would have gone ahead with it anyway. It was Jesus’ highly unpopular appropriated role as the Melchizedek, General, that set him on the path to Calvary.

NEXT WEEK: A NEW GOVERNOR COMES TO TOWN

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